What is the Los Angeles Dodgers' payroll this season?

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages

After the Dodgers piled Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto's contracts on top of each other in quick succession, all anyone could talk about, aside from how good the Dodgers were projected to be in 2024, was how much money they had spent. It makes sense; $1.025 billion is an exorbitant amount of money, and it's even more baffling when it's all going to just two people.

And, of course, it wasn't just Ohtani and Yamamoto. Tyler Glasnow, Teoscar Hernández, and James Paxton all joined up to take the Dodgers' total offseason spending to around $1.2 billion.

It wasn't that straightforward, though — deferrals were the name of the game. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman's contracts already had delayed money built in, then Ohtani's piled on $680 million and Hernández's deal included a much smaller $8.5 million in deferred money. Will Smith is also entitled to $50 million after his 10-year extension with the Dodgers is up.

Dodgers 2024 Payroll

The Dodgers' active payroll in 2024 is $227,448,116 according to Spotrac. That figure includes money for both active and injured players, as well as deferred and retained money owed this year. Their luxury tax payroll, on the other hand, is $324,729,998.

LA would owe a lot more money in luxury taxes this season if it weren't for the deferrals, which are built into not only Ohtani's contract but Betts, Freeman, Hernández, and Smith's deals, taking the Dodgers' deferred debts to $915.5 million. Ohtani reportedly suggested his pay structure himself, lowering the average annual value so his massive salary wouldn't hold back the Dodgers' ability to spend throughout the duration of his contract.

What is the Luxury Tax Threshold in MLB?

The luxury tax ceiling (actually called the Competitive Balance Tax) is sort of a lite version of a salary cap, which players have been adamantly, famously, strike-inducing-ly opposed to.

Every year, the luxury tax threshold is set by MLB (in 2024, it's $237 million), and the teams that go over that amount are taxed heavily. If it's the team's first year stepping over the threshold, they're taxed at 20%. In their second consecutive year, it's 30%, and in their third (or more) consecutive year, 50%.

Despite deferrals, the Dodgers have still well surpassed the luxury tax threshold this year, but it could've been worse. The nearly $1 billion they've shunted off to the side might be a problem for someone someday, but that's an issue for another decade.